Monday, 12 June 2017

Best songs and singing

Nathan and I headed down to central London this afternoon to attend the Stephen Sondheim Society's Student Performer of the Year competition at the Noel Coward Theatre. The competition is run in conjunction with the Stiles and Drewe Prize for best new song, for which Brass had been shortlisted.

The idea is that twelve students cherry-picked from drama schools across the country compete for the award of performer of the year, by singing a Sondheim song and a song by a new British writer. I was lucky enough to have a young lad called Rob Peacock singing Brass, and he did a stunning job of it. In the end it didn't win. I think perhaps my song came close as it was singled out for a shedload of praise from George Stiles who said "it was a really beautiful song with such reach and melodic power." The team from Rogers and Hammerstein were there. They publish Brass and came bounding up to me afterwards to say how beautiful the song had sounded. I think a fair number of people were surprised that the piece worked so well with just a piano.

Bizarrely, I knew all the judges, who included Dan Gillespie Sells, lead singer from The Feeling who, of course, sang us up the aisle.

In the end the contest was won by a very charming song called Gerry and Me, which was beautifully written, despite perhaps owing quite a lot to Jason Robert Brown.

The performer prize was won by Izuka Hoyle, who is plainly destined for great things. She's stunningly beautiful, and has one of the best sets of pipes I've heard in ages.

There was an after show in the penthouse in a swanky hotel on Leicester Square where two cokes cost an outrageous £7.70! The views over London were, however, stunning.

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